LIVERMORE — Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, made a personal plea this week to U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki to keep open the Livermore VA Medical Center, which has long been earmarked for closure.

The congressman met with Shinseki on Thursday in Washington, D.C., according to a news release sent by McNerney's office. McNerney argued on behalf of the Livermore facility, whose tranquil setting he has often argued would make a good site for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression.

"I shared with the secretary the importance of veterans' services being available at the Livermore VA, and urged him to consider options that will keep the facility in veterans' hands," McNerney said in the release.

The congressman also urged Shinseki to expedite the site selection for a planned veterans medical facility in San Joaquin Valley. The facility is sorely needed to provide relief to San Joaquin veterans who have long had to commute for medical services, he said.